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“Great place - very interesting” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Pen Museum

The Pen Museum
Ranked #15 of 275 things to do in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Immerse yourself in the exciting world of pens and calligraphy and explore our amazing collection of over 5,000 objects.
Level Contributor
243 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great place - very interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

Dropped in here during a recent stay in Birmingham. The museum is located in the Jewellery Quarter. Huge range of pen related paraphernalia to be seen - and you can have a go at making your own fountain pen nib.


Visited August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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533 reviews from our community

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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fabulous surprise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

We went primarily for the craft fair that was being held in the grounds of the pen museum and opted to go for the tour. So glad we did! Small venue but really interesting - you can even make your own nib for an inkpen and use a braille machine to type your name. It's another piece of Birmingham history of which I was unaware. Long time since I've used a manual typewriter too!!

Visited August 2014
1 Thank CraftyMissKitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Summer Fair 2014”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

I happened to come by the fair from a local ad, I visited with my six year old cousin. It was wonderful. The staff, volunteers and guides were all really helpful and informative, we managed to get a taste of history in the time we were there. Making the nibs using the machinery was amazing, my cousin loved this part as she was so young it was a great interactive session for her (and myself :D) . The old classroom although very small was perfect as an example of Victorian classrooms, having use of proper typewriters towards the end was the best part for me! I hope next year the refreshments will be more than cakes, I may even try to help! All in all, it was grand and thoroughly recommend it as an afternoon or morning out.

Visited July 2014
Thank NomadinAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Reality Check!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

The museum is a nice place to visit if you have an hour to spare. There are lots of pen nibs. It does chart the industrial revolution through the medium of pen production.

1) Its small and is not an all day event
2) The staff although knowledgable are very, very, intense and deeply focused on their own role and not on the needs of visitors.
3) It is hard to just look round and without being forced into a guided tour, of which there was questions from the guide at the end!

Overall worth a visit but not as good as some reviews suggest

Visited August 2014
1 Thank Rhizopus O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Pen Museum or Nib Collection?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

Rarely have I visited a museum which was more enthusiastically run! The volunteers at the Pen Museum are friendly and helpful, and eager to demonstrate the various machines and guide you around the exhibits without being too intrusive. The museum is split into two rooms with manufacturing equipment and exhibits in one workshop-type room and then more exhibits and a "hands-on" area in the other where you can brush up on your calligraphy skills.

Last year we visited the Cairo museum and an entire floor was dedicated to sarcophagi. The first couple were interesting but after that it was a case of "seen one sarcophagus, seen them all". If nibs of various sizes and inks of various colours float your boat then the Pen Museum will probably give you orgasms, otherwise your eyes might glaze over after the first few shelves of nibs. It has, slightly randomly, a section devoted to badge manufacturing which used to be done across the road, and an area of antique typewriters.

If you're in the area then it's certainly worth a visit, it's unique and friendly. In truth if it was a section within a larger museum you'd probably hover for three minutes and move on.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank SunLoverAndy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Birmingham, West Midlands

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